As you recall, the gist of Giddy Up, Eunice is that women need other women. We need younger and older women in our lives. And they need us! All of us are valuable and can contribute to the lives of other women. And to our world.
Sophie Hudson explains it like this:
The areas where we are wise are meant to intersect with someone else’s questions. The areas where someone else is wise are meant to intersect with our questions.
Time Gives Good Advice
So, in thinking about all of this, I decided to pose the following questions on Facebook in hopes that some of my friends would answer.
What advice would you give the next generation of women about life and being a woman today? What do you wish you had known or what wisdom were you given that has helped you be happy and successful?
Here are the insightful answers I received.
Emily: Don’t take things personally. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t make someone a priority in your life if you are just an option in theirs. “No guts, no glory!” We have to do gutsy things and take risks now and then. Staying in our comfortable bubble keeps us stagnate. This quote has been a kind of mantra for me since I retired.
Stephanie: Not everyone you meet in life is going to like you. But that’s okay. It’s what you think of yourself that matters the most! Don’t lower yourself to someone else’s standards.
Denise: Less is more! Spend less, save more! You don’t need all the STUFF!
May: Receive Christ. Read the Bible, ask God to help you obey it. Pray a LOT.
Terri: Don’t try to be superwoman to make your man happy. Ask him to step up and do his fair share and if he won’t, let him go. No cranky and exhausted wife and mother is ever happy.
Vona: Happiness comes from within. Nobody can “make” you happy. A love, a child, a grandchild, a good friend can contribute to your happiness, but it isn’t their responsibility to make you happy.
Jane: Enjoy every minute of your life! Learn from the bad and the good go and see the world if it is just in your home state, love people, your family and our God! Life is very short so enjoy it while you can!
Elaine: Make a conscious effort to think ideas and opportunities through to see who or what stands to gain the most from the decisions made. Making friends is good, but beware of those who may take advantage of ‘friendships’.
Christy: Stop being afraid to chase your dreams. This path is yours and only yours.
Juliana: Go to class, professors often times will give you the benefit of the doubt.
Marg: Always be true to yourself. Have a deep and abiding faith in GOD.
Laurie: Love yourself and be true to yourself. Learn everything you can. Ask for help if you need it…it’ll be a learning experience. Trying to be perfect and always please others is fruitless and a waste of time. Grow into who you are and never stop. And God is always on your side.
Suzy: Wait for a man who truly deserves you to become part of your life. Learn who you are and know what you deserve and do not settle for anything less.
Lily: Don’t spend so much time trying to be perfect that you forget to have fun along the way. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, life is too short.
Valerie: Be yourself but be out there. Don’t be too afraid to try new things. Older women: Don’t be afraid to do new things. You are still alive, act like it.
Brennyn: Don’t get married until you’re in your 30’s and travel first. Just because you’re a mother or an older woman doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy, attractive or wanted.
Lauren: Travel as much as possible and never take your good health for granted.
Such good stuff here. Wise words. These women range in age from 16 to 60+. While everyone’s answers are a little different, many of them share a central theme: be yourself, love yourself and find your own happiness.
Singer Alanis Morissette wrote and performed a song entitled “You Learn”. The words in the chorus are:
You live you learn, you love you learn
You cry you learn, you lose you learn
You bleed you learn, you scream you learn
This is the official video for Morissette’s song.
Oh, if only I had heard and believed this sage advice when I was a younger. Most of my adult life, I have danced as fast as I could to try to to be perfect, to make other people happy.
In this photo, I was 24 years-old. Married to an abusive young soldier. I am holding my hair because I hated the way it looked…curly and thick and slightly unruly. No doubt sucking in my stomach because it was never flat enough.
In this photo, I was a 28-year-old mommy to a 2-year-old and a 10-month-old. Covered myself with Lauren because I was so insecure about my body. We were living in the Republic of Panama where I was very much isolated from my family in the U.S. and permitted to have little contact with friends.
So many times, people wish they could go back to the good old days when they were younger, more athletic, had a head full of hair, a smaller waist, fewer responsibilities. Not this girl. I am happier than I have ever been with who I am, inside and out. I have learned. I am finally all growed up.
Thank you to my sweet friends for sharing such rich life lessons. If you have a bit of advice or some wise words to share, please leave a comment below for all of us to benefit from. Then go out and do something that makes you happy, something that is uniquely you. And smile at your beautiful self next time you peek in the mirror.
Hugs and kisses,